Saturday, August 23, 2008

why i love the Olympics (part 4: emotion)

we tend to belittle emotions and demean those who show them.

we tend to view emotions as a sign of weakness or lack of control. and because of this, we mock them. deride them. insult them. call them names like "drama queen" or "candy ass" or "pansy." and then we go further, and punish them, suppress them, deny them. do everything to eradicate them...them and those who dare display them.

we tell ourselves emotions are not necessary. that they are a waste. that we don't need them. in us, in others, in life.

which is why i love the Olympics.

everywhere at the Olympics, you'll see the grand scale of human emotion. from supreme joy to utter sorrow. from ecstasy to agony. elation to dejection. triumph to anguish. bliss to despair. the great extremes reaching across the human experience encapsulated on the field of athletic competition. and released in measure equal to the physical grandeur unleashed in play, in full display on the faces of those who can no longer contain them...nor would ever want to.

here's a sample of what i've seen:
you see, the Olympics are a reminder that there are some things in life that lie beyond the reach of words: feelings that run too deep, too strong, too great, to ever be expressed in the paltry confines of a construction like language.

in these times, emotions are all we have. because they are the only things capable of reflecting the full reach of what we feel. even if that reflection can only be released in tears.

without emotions, we cannot be complete. we cannot experience all that there is to experience, feel all that there is to feel, learn all that there is to learn. without emotions, we cannot grow into the grandeur that we come to call great expanse of human existence. we cannot realize the mystery of life.

emotions are the markers of the deeper aspects of our nature, of the passions that hold our higher truths. as such, they must be made known--experienced, felt, learned--if life is to be known...if we are to ever become more than what we are, or ever to become that which we were meant to be.

a life without passion is a life unknown.

and a life unknown is a life unlived.

"Sport is this great arena for drama. It's a reflection of life."
-Cathy Freeman, Australian 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist, 400m


Unknown said...


I'm working with, a social networking site for sports. Members can post photos, videos, share stats and schedules, and a whole lot more with others throughout the community. Takkle is a place where students, athletes, coaches, and fans can share their passion for sports.

I feel that your site is very useful. I would love to know if you could link to our social networking resource.


jonathan starlight said...

i'd be interested--email me off-line at